Ludwig Van Beethoven siblings

When discussing classical music, many of us immediately think of renowned composers like Mozart, Chopin, and Debussy.

However, there’s another influential musician from Bonn, Germany, who forever transformed the world of music—Beethoven.

This exceptionally gifted composer produced the majority of his masterpieces during his later years, even after experiencing complete deafness.

ludwig van beethoven
ludwig van beethoven
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Born to Maria Magdalena and Johann van Beethoven, Beethoven had a total of seven siblings and step-siblings.

Unfortunately, most of them did not survive childhood, although a few managed to reach adulthood.

For further insights into Ludwig van Beethoven’s siblings and their stories, continue reading.

This article will provide a comprehensive exploration of Beethoven’s family background.

ludwig van beethoven siblings

Here are the siblings of Ludwig van Beethoven listed from the eldest to the youngest:

  1. Johann Peter Anton Leym (1764-1764):

    • Beethoven’s oldest and only half-sibling.
    • Born in 1764 but unfortunately passed away a few days after birth.
  2. Ludwig Maria van Beethoven (April 1769 – April 1769):

    • Beethoven’s second oldest sibling.
    • First son of Maria Magdalena and Johann van Beethoven.
    • Limited information is available, and he died shortly after birth.
  3. Ludwig van Beethoven (December 1770 – March 26, 1827):

    • Renowned composer in classical music.
    • Born in Bonn, Germany, and received early piano lessons from his father.
    • Started formal lessons with Christian Gottlob Neefe and published his first work at 13.
    • Escaped a stressful household by finding support from Helene Von Breuning.
    • Moved to Vienna at 21, composed prolifically, and became completely deaf in 1814.
    • Continued composing until his death in 1827.
  4. Kaspar Anton Karl van Beethoven (April 1774 – November 15, 1815):

    • Beethoven’s sibling who moved to Vienna in 1794.
    • Supported by Beethoven for a period, worked as a clerk and secretary.
    • The relationship deteriorated, and Kaspar served as a Deputy Liquidator.
    • Dispute over the custody of Karl (his son) with Beethoven after Kaspar’s death.
  5. Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven (October 2, 1776 – January 12, 1848):

    • Second sibling to survive childhood.
    • Trained as a pharmacist, opened his pharmacy in Linz in 1808.
    • Worked in the base camp during Napoleon’s invasion, enhancing his career.
    • Married his housekeeper, Thérèse Obermeyer, against Beethoven’s approval.
    • Purchased an estate in Gneixendorf, where Beethoven composed part of his String Quartet Op. 130.
  6. Anna Maria Francisca van Beethoven (February 23, 1779 – February 28, 1779):

  7. Franz Georg van Beethoven (January 17, 1781 – August 16, 1783):

    • Maria’s last son, born in 1781 and lived only two years.
  8. Maria Margarita van Beethoven (1786 – November 26, 1787):

    • Beethoven’s youngest sibling.
    • Born in 1786 and died in November of the following year.

Early influences of Ludwig van Beethoven

In this period, music assumed a newfound significance as an art form deeply connected to emotions.

The intense emotional conflicts present in the sonatas of C.P.E. Bach reappeared with heightened intensity in Beethoven.

For Beethoven, the practical application of “feeling” held as much importance as it did in theory for his mentor Neefe, who asserted it as the sole condition for artistic value.

This emphasis on emotion is particularly crucial for those associating Beethoven with the Romantic era. Despite a formal education that lacked proficiency in arithmetic beyond the multiplication table, Beethoven’s literary influences were extensive, rooted in German classics, particularly the works of Goethe and Schiller.

The compositions from Beethoven’s early years in Bonn that continue to captivate interest mostly hail from the later years.

Notably, a Rondino and an Octet for wind instruments, likely composed in 1792 for the elector’s harmonie (wind band), demonstrate enduring appeal.

Other noteworthy works include a Trio in G Major for Flute, Bassoon, and Piano from 1791, as well as two cantatas.

The songs, likely influenced by Neefe, do not exhibit a profound appreciation for the solo voice, an unusual trait considering Beethoven’s familial background in singing.

Of particular significance are the 24 variations on a theme by Vincenzo Righini, an Italian composer.

Similarly, the String Trio in E-flat Major, Opus 3, underwent revision and later publication, serving as a comprehensive display of Beethoven’s piano technique and maintaining a prominent place in his repertory in Vienna’s salons for an extended period.


Beethoven’s family were a powerful influence on him, helping to create both the tension as well as the passion that underlie his greatest music. John will be talking about the influence Beethoven’s family had on his music in his 12-part series, Beethoven: The Man Revealed

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